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Five new species of freshwater crabs of the genera Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014, and Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904) from the Western Ghats, India

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Abstract

Five new species of gecarcinucid freshwater crabs, Ghatiana atropurpurea n. sp., Ghatiana splendida n. sp., Gubernatoriana alcocki Pati n. sp., Gubernatoriana thackerayi Pati n. sp., and Gubernatoriana waghi Pati n. sp. are described from the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and Goa states of India. Ghatiana atropurpurea n. sp. can be differentiated from other species of Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014 by the shape and colour of its carapace, and the sigmoid-shaped male first pleopod (G1). Ghatiana splendida n. sp. is separated from its congeners mainly by its long anterolateral margin of the carapace and short terminal article of the G1. Besides, the colour pattern (deep pink carapace and chelipeds, orange ambulatory legs) of G. splendida n. sp. is exceptional among its congeners. Gubernatoriana alcocki n. sp. is unique among species of Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970 due to its inwardly curved tip of the terminal article of the G1. The stout and cone-shaped terminal article of the G1 of G. thackerayi n. sp. is characteristic among its congeners. In addition, G. thackerayi n. sp. has a unique colouration amongst congeners (violet-red carapace and ambulatory legs, orange-red chelipeds). Gubernatoriana waghi n. sp. can be distinguished from its congeners by the quadrate-shaped carapace, narrow frontal margin, pointed tips of the cheliped fingers, short terminal article of the G1 and very short or vestigial terminal article of the male second pleopod (G2). The body colour (burnt orange carapace and ivory coloured chelipeds and ambulatory legs) of G. waghi n. sp. is also important to distinguish live crabs of the genus. Key to the species of Ghatiana and Gubernatoriana is provided.

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... The freshwater crabs of Maharashtra have been studied by many carcinologists, including Milne Edwards (1844), Wood-Mason (1871), Rathbun (1905Rathbun ( , 1906, Alcock (1909Alcock ( , 1910, Chopra and Das (1935), and Bott (1970). It is only recently when these crabs were explored well, many new taxa were recognized from Maharashtra (Pati and Sharma, 2012a, Z0l4a, 2014b: pati et al., 2016, Pati and rhackeray, 2018. Freshwater crabs from the protected areas of Maharashtra, in particular, have been studied by Pati and Sharma (2012b,2014c,2014d. ...
... Freshwater crabs from the protected areas of Maharashtra, in particular, have been studied by Pati and Sharma (2012b,2014c,2014d. Crab specimens examined by Sharma (2014a,2014b), Pati et al., (2016), and Pati and Thackeray (2018) were actually originated from one or the otherprotected areas, including the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats of Satara distdct, Maharashtra. ...
... Out of29 species ofgecarcinucid freshwatercrabs of Maharashtra (pati and Thackeray,20l g), five species in three genera are currently recognized from the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. Among these, two species are rather restricted to the Koyna wildlife sanctuary only: sai yad.riana alcocii (Pati in Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016) (Alcock, 1909) Rathbun, 1904 Family GECARCINUCIDAE Rathbun, 1904 Genus Barytelphusa Alcock, 1909 Barytelphusq cunicularis (Westwood in Sykes, 1836) Gerus Inglahelphusa Bott, 1970 Inglethelphusa fron lo (Alcock, 1909) Gerus Sahyadriana Pati & Thackeray, 2018 Sahyadriana alcocki ( Inglethelphusa fron to (Alcock, 1909) (Plate I, Fig Diagnosis'. Carapace ovate, slightly broader than long; posterolateral margins distinctly convergent; front relatively broad transversely; epigastric cristae low; postorbital cristae indistinct; extemal orbital angle indistinct, low. ...
Chapter
The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary comprises five species of freshwater crabs in three genera of the family Gecarcinucidae. Among these, two species are endemic to the sanctuary: Sahyadriana alcocki (Pati in Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016) and S. woodmasoni Pati & Thackeray, 2018. Systematic list and systematic account are provided for all the crab species of the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary.
... The freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats inhabit almost all freshwater bodies in addition to several semiterrestrial or terrestrial environments and various cryptic habitats (Bahir and Yeo, 2007;Sharma, 2013, 2014a;Klaus et al., 2014;Pati et al., 2016Pati et al., , 2019bKumar et al., 2017;Rajesh et al., 2017;Pati and Thackeray, 2018). They can also be found at higher elevations (up to 2472 m above sea level) (Pati and Sharma, 2013). ...
... During the last two decades, another 43 species were recorded from the biogeographic zone, which is the result of many systematic and taxonomic studies (Srivastava, 2005(Srivastava, , 2007(Srivastava, , 2013Srivastava and Krishnan, 2006;Bahir and Yeo, 2007;Ghatak and Ghosh, 2008;Pati and Sharma, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c, 2014dKlaus et al., 2014;Pati et al., 2014Pati et al., , 2016Pati et al., , 2019bPati et al., , 2019cPati et al., , 2019aKumar et al., 2017;Rajesh et al., 2017;Pati and Thackeray, 2018). The first-ever broader phylogenetic study on the crabs of the Western Ghats was carried out by Klaus et al. (2014). ...
... As many as 25 species are even more restricted in their distribution and only known from their type locality (cf. Roux, 1931;Bahir and Yeo, 2007;Sharma, 2013, 2014a;Klaus et al., 2014;Pati et al., 2016Kumar et al., 2017;Pati and Thackeray, 2018 ...
Chapter
The present chapter includes the systematic list of all the known freshwater crabs from the Western Ghats Biogeographic Zone of India. A discussion is made on their diversity and endemism, potential threats to these animals, and conservation strategies for them. A total of 62 species in 18 genera of the family Gecarcinucidae are currently recognized from this biogeographic zone. Almost half the numbers of genera and species of the Indian freshwater crabs are found in the Western Ghats Biogeographic Zone, whereas the Western Ghats crabs share more than two-thirds of the Indian gecarcinucid genera and species. Of the two provinces of the Western Ghats Biogeographic Zone, 58 species in 18 genera of crabs dwell in the Western Ghats Mountains Biogeographic Province and 16 species in 10 genera inhabit the Malabar Plains Biogeographic Province. The state of Kerala possesses the maximum diversity of Western Ghats crabs followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Goa. Sahyadriana Pati & Thackeray, 2018 is the most species-rich genus followed by Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014, Vanni Bahir & Yeo, 2007, and Travancoriana Bott, 1969. The level of endemism is very high in these crabs (82% endemic species and 67% endemic genera). The lacunae in the study of these crabs are also highlighted.
... The high level of endemism in these crabs is largely associated with the isolated nature of the mountains that form geographical barriers in the form of 'sky islands' (see Klaus et al. 2014). These crabs dwell in both freshwater and semi-terrestrial habitats, including hilly streams, waterfalls, basalt rocks, and phytotelmata (see Klaus et al. 2014;Pati & Sharma 2014a;Pati et al. 2016). The heterogeneity seen in the morphology of these crabs could be attributed to their adaptation to a specific habitat. ...
... For instance, Gubernatoriana basalticola Klaus, Fernandez & Yeo, 2014 has a transverse and deep carapace with a massive major chela, which could be a direct adaptation owing to its burrowing lifestyle in the holes and crevices of the basalt rocks (see Klaus et al. 2014). Likewise, Ghatiana atropurpurea Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016 has developed a deep purple colour probably due to its association with the Indian blackberry plant, Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels (see Pati et al. 2016). ...
... All these genera can be distinguished from other Indian gecarcinucids by the absence of a flagellum on the exopod of the third maxilliped and a very short G2. With the present work, there are now 120 species of Indian freshwater crabs, under 35 genera and two families namely, Gecarcinucidae (24 genera and 88 species) and Potamidae (11 genera and 32 species) (see Rathbun, 1905;Alcock 1910;Pretzmann 1963Pretzmann , 1966Bott 1970a;Ng & Tay 2001;Bahir & Yeo 2005, 2007Ghosh et al. 2006;Yeo & Ng 2007;Pati & Sharma 2012cKlaus et al. 2014;Pati & Sudha Devi 2015a, 2015bPati et al. 2016Absar et al. 2017;Kumar et al. 2017;Mitra 2017;Mitra & Valarmathi 2017;Pati & Singh 2017;Raj et al. 2017) (Table 1). Among the Indian states, Kerala ranks top in freshwater crab diversity (35 species) (see Kumar et al. 2017; (Table 1). ...
Article
The taxonomy of three morphologically related and endemic genera of the northern Western Ghats (Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014, Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970, and Inglethelphusa Bott, 1970) is re-assessed to accommodate several new taxa. We describe a new genus, Sahyadriana gen. nov. and its five new species [S. billyarjani sp. nov., S. pachyphallus sp. nov., S. sahyadriensis sp. nov. (type species), S. tenuiphallus sp. nov., and S. woodmasoni sp. nov.]. Additionally, three new species each of Ghatiana (Gh. botti sp. nov., Gh. pulchra sp. nov., and Gh. rathbunae sp. nov.) and Gubernatoriana (Gu. longipes sp. nov., Gu. marleshwarensis sp. nov., and Gu. wallacei sp. nov.) are described. Five species previously in Gubernatoriana are now transferred to Sahyadriana gen. nov., viz. S. alcocki (Pati in Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016) comb. nov., S. pilosipes (Alcock, 1909) comb. nov., S. thackerayi (Pati in Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016) comb. nov., S. triangulus (Pati & Sharma, 2014) comb. nov., and S. waghi (Pati in Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016) comb. nov. Gubernatoriana basalticola Klaus, Fernandez & Yeo, 2014, is transferred to Ghatiana. Inglethelphusa is still proved to be monotypic. Consequently, Ghatiana now contains eight species, three of which are new; Gubernatoriana, four species, including three new species; Inglethelphusa, one species; and Sahyadriana gen. nov., ten species, including five new species. Sahyadriana pilosipes is rediscovered more than a century after its description. All these genera can be separated from other Indian gecarcinucid crabs by the absence of a flagellum on the exopod of the third maxilliped and a very short G2. The relevant identification keys are revised. Currently, 120 species of freshwater crabs under 35 genera and two families are found in India. Kerala is the most species-rich (35 species) state in India followed by Maharashtra (29 species) and Assam (21 species). The Western Ghats of India now includes 17 genera and 58 species of gecarcinucid crabs. A checklist and distribution of Indian freshwater crabs is provided.
... The freshwater biodiversity, however, especially that of freshwater crabs, remains poorly documented (Molur et al., 2011;Raghavan et al., 2015Raghavan et al., , 2016. Despite the many recent studies on the Indian freshwater crab fauna (Potamidae and Gecarcinucidae) (Bahir & Yeo, 2005Klaus, et al., 2014;Raghavan et al., 2015;Pati & Sharma, 2013Pati & Sudha Devi, 2015a, b;Pati et al., 2016), many new genera and new species still await description, and there as yet no records of completely arboreal or cavernicolous crabs ...
... The same is true for the Kenyan and Tanzanian Potamonautes raybouldi Cumberlidge & Vannini, 2004, which occurs in tree holes in closed forests 1 to 2 or more metres above the ground (Bayliss, 2002;Cumberlidge & Vannini, 2004). The gecarcinucid Ghatiana atropurpurea Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016, has been reported living in tree holes near the ground in Maharashtra, southern India. This species is nevertheless not a true arboreal crab as it is also found near streams and among boulders (Pati et al., 2016). ...
... The gecarcinucid Ghatiana atropurpurea Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016, has been reported living in tree holes near the ground in Maharashtra, southern India. This species is nevertheless not a true arboreal crab as it is also found near streams and among boulders (Pati et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
A new genus and new species of tree crab is described from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in Kerala, southern India. Kani maranjandun. gen., n. sp., is substantially different from all congeners in a suite of characters, notably the diagnostic carapace and male abdominal structure, as well as the conspicuously elongated ambulatory legs. The species is wholly arboreal, living in tree-hollows or the canopy.
... The first-ever species recorded from the Western Ghats is currently known as Barytelphusa cunicularis, which was originally described as Thelphusa cunicularis by J O Westwood in the work of W H Sykes during 1836 [18]. Thereafter, many crab species were described or reported from the Western Ghats [10,11,[14][15][16][17], especially during the last two decades that contribute nearly two-thirds of the currently known species (Figure 3). ...
... Similarly, the Western Ghats crabs also show a high level of endemism, with 67% endemic genera (12/18 genera) and 82% endemic species (51/62 species) ( Table 1). Nearly half of the endemic species of the Western Ghats (25/51 species) are highly restricted in distribution and so far, known only from their type locality [10,[14][15][16][17]31,39,49,52,55]. ...
Article
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The Western Ghats has been well studied for freshwater crabs among the regions of the Indian subcontinent. Several studies on the Western Ghats crabs notwithstanding, their actual diversity is still incompletely known. The previous data on their diversity seems to be erroneous. The freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats are revisited to update the information on their diversity, distribution, endemism, and conservation, which include 888 locality records from 46 publications. The updated data comprises 62 crab species in 18 genera of the family Gecarcinucidae, including recognition of two new records from the Western Ghats: Oziotelphusa biloba and Oziotelphusa ravi. The Western Ghats crabs contribute nearly half the diversity of the Indian freshwater crabs and more than two-thirds the diversity of the Indian gecarcinucid crabs. Nearly two-thirds crab species of the Western Ghats have been reported during the last two decades. The Southern Western Ghats is relatively rich in crab diversity as compared to the Northern- and Central Western Ghats. Nearly one-third crab species of the Western Ghats are found above the average elevation and seven species above 2000 m altitude. Among the crab genera of the Western Ghats, Sahyadriana is the most species-rich followed by Ghatiana, Vanni, and Travancoriana. Although the Western Ghats crabs possess high-level endemism (67% endemic genera and 82% endemic species), only two species have been considered as ‘Vulnerable’ and seven species as ‘Least Concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature; the remaining species are either ‘Data Deficient’ or not assessed yet.
... Ghatiana aurantiaca can be distinguished from its congeners (G. atropurpurea Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016, G. hyacintha Pati & Sharma, 2014, and G. splendida Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016 by the following suite of characters: carapace, chelipeds and ambulatory legs uniformly orange-red coloured; anterolateral margin short; epistomal median lobe with rounded apex; male thoracic sternites S1, S2 heavily setose; sixth male abdominal somite with lateral margins gently converging distally; G1 terminal segment short, ca. 0.45 times length of subterminal segment (see Pati et al., 2016). ...
... atropurpurea Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016, G. hyacintha Pati & Sharma, 2014, and G. splendida Pati, Thackeray & Khaire, 2016 by the following suite of characters: carapace, chelipeds and ambulatory legs uniformly orange-red coloured; anterolateral margin short; epistomal median lobe with rounded apex; male thoracic sternites S1, S2 heavily setose; sixth male abdominal somite with lateral margins gently converging distally; G1 terminal segment short, ca. 0.45 times length of subterminal segment (see Pati et al., 2016). Pati and Sharma (2012) wrongly identified G. aurantiaca and G. hyacintha as Globitelphusa pistorica Alcock, 1909 from Phansad and Radhanagari wildlife sanctuaries, respectively. ...
Chapter
Summary: A systematic account is provided on the freshwater crabs of the Phansad wildlife sanctuary in Raigad district of Maharashtra. The present study recognized two crab species of the family Gecarcinucidae: Barytelphusa cunicularis (Westwood, 1836) and Ghatiana aurantiaca Pati & Sharma, 2014. Previously, G. aurantiaca was wrongly identified as Globitelphusa pistorica Alcock, 1909 from Phansad. A neotype should be designated for B. cunicularis for taxonomic stability. Moreover, a revision of the genus Barytelphusa Alcock, 1909 is necessary.
... ZSI-WRC is rich in crustacean collections, mainly from the infraorder Brachyura Latreille, 1802. The brachyuran collections of ZSI-WRC are particularly important for freshwater crabs, and of the total 6109 currently identified specimens, 4222 (including 197 type specimens) belong to Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904, andPotamidae Ortmann, 1896 (see Pati & Sharma 2012, 2013, 2014a, 2014bPati & Sudha Devi 2015aPati et al. 2016Pati et al. , 2019aPati et al. , 2019bPati et al. , 2020aPati & Singh 2017;Pati & Thackeray 2018;Pati & Vargila 2019;Pati 2021). The marine crab collections, however, have remained unstudied except for those examined by Tikader (1965), Pati et al. (2019cPati et al. ( , 2020b and few specimens from Gujarat recently donated by Dr. J.N. Trivedi , 2017aTrivedi et al. 2017). ...
Article
The Zoological Survey of India, Western Regional Centre, Pune (ZSI-WRC) contains 1887 specimens of mostly unstudied marine brachyuran crabs. The present systematic study on the marine crabs of ZSI-WRC reports 62 species in 44 genera, 18 families and nine superfamilies. Of these, four genera and 13 species are new distributional records within India. We also record three species for the first time from the Indian waters: Metopograpsus cannicci Innocenti, Schubart & Fratini, 2020 (Grapsidae MacLeay, 1838), Varuna yui Hwang & Takeda, 1986 (Varunidae H. Milne Edwards, 1853), and Ilyograpsus paludicola (Rathbun, 1909) (Macrophthalmidae Dana, 1851). The record of Varuna yui is significant as it is the first time it has been found from the western Indian Ocean. The subfamily Ilyograpsinae Števčić, 2005, has likewise not previously been reported from India. The taxonomy of the poorly known menippid crab, Sphaerozius scaber (Fabricius, 1798), is clarified with the designation of a lectotype, and its taxonomy is discussed. Sphaerozius scaber can be distinguished from the only congener S. nitidus Stimpson, 1858, by its prominently tuberculated carapace, palm and carpus of the chelipeds, and the strongly curved male first gonopod, with the distal part gently tapering into a truncate tip. Sphaerozius scaber is a new addition to the west coast of India. With the inclusion of the present new records, India is now known to have 939 species of marine brachyuran crabs in 375 genera of 63 families.
... Pati et al. (2016) in a straight forward taxonomic paper, described five new species of freshwater crabs in the genera Ghatiana and Gubernatoriana. In the introduction, they wrote: All the authors of this publication together constitute the authority of each newly described speciesof Ghatiana whereas only the first author (S.K. Pati) is responsible for the names and description of all the new species of Gubernatoriana. ...
Article
In the majority of species and genus names in Decapoda Crustacea, the author(s) of the name equate with the author(s) of the work. In a relatively small number of cases, however, the author(s) of the name are either a subset of the authors of the work or are not an author on the work-a phenomenon herein termed "innies". We demonstrate that these two categories should be differentially interpreted according to Articles 50.1 and 50.1.1 of the ICZN Code. To promote stability in cited authorship of historical names, it is proposed that 1) if the author(s) of the name are also an author on the work, these should be universally accepted as "innies", irrespective of any further explanation in the text (including a mere attribution following the taxon name); and 2) that if the author(s) of the name are not an author(s) of the work, these should only be considered as "innies" if a more expansive explanation is given in the text, not merely an attribution of authorship to the taxon name.
... The level of endemism seen in freshwater crabs is very high (Cumberlidge et al., 2009), and highland species are more restricted in occurrence (Klaus et al., 2014). For instance, among 41 species of crabs reported from the Western Ghats (Pati et al., 2016), 36 species (nearly 88%) are endemic. Even though some issues have been raised in the conservation of crab species with restricted distribution, these crabs often inhabit areas with generally less immediate human impact (Yeo et al., 2008). ...
Chapter
Six species of gecarcinucid freshwater crabs namely, Barytelphusa cunicularis (Westwood, 1836), Cylindrotelphusa steniops (Alcock, 1909), Lamella lamellifrons (Alcock, 1909), Travancoriana kuleera Bahir & Yeo, 2007, Vanni malabarica (Henderson, 1912), and Vela carli (Roux, 1931) are recorded from the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala.
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Background: Freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats have been severely underestimated in their diversity. Since freshwater crabs have a small spatial scale endemism, many remote and poorly studied localities in the Western Ghats need to be surveyed. In this study, a new genus and new species is described. Results: Arcithelphusa cochleariformis gen. et sp. nov. is described from Ondayangadi, Wayanad district, Kerala, India. The new genus and new species is exceptional among Indian freshwater crabs due to its squarish, highly arched carapace, appearing box-like in frontal view, and long, stout, spoon-shaped male first gonopod. Conclusions: With the current discovery, 14 genera and 36 species of gecarcinucid freshwater crabs are recognized in the Western Ghats of India. More new taxa can be expected from this exceptionally biodiversity-rich area if the necessary surveys are done.
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Freshwater crabs (194 specimens) in the collections of Western Ghat Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India, Kozhikode, have been identified. In total, 12 species under 7 genera of the family Gecarcinucidae are reported. Data on distribution of all the identified species are provided. Barytelphusa cunicularis (Westwood, 1836) was the most commonly collected species in the studied area (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu). Vela carli (Roux, 1931) is recorded for the first time from Kerala whereas Travancoriana convexa (Roux, 1931) and Vanni giri Bahir & Yeo, 2007 were found to be new records to Karnataka.
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A new genus of freshwater crab, Ghatiana, with two new species, Ghatiana aurantiaca and Ghatiana hyacintha, and a new species of Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970, are described from the Western Ghat Mountains in Maharashtra State, India. Ghatiana is most similar to Gubernatoriana by its wide, highly arched carapace and by the shape of the male abdomen. Nevertheless, the new genus can be distinguished from Gubernatoriana by the broadness of carapace, length of male abdomen, shape of sixth abdominal somite, length of telson and length of G1 terminal article. Ghatiana aurantiaca sp. nov. and G. hyacintha sp. nov. are distinguished by differences in body colour, carapace width, and G1 morphology, whereas Gubernatoriana triangulus sp. nov. is distinguished from two other known species [Gubernatoriana gubernatoris (Alcock, 1909) and Gubernatoriana pilosipes (Alcock, 1909)] by its triangular G1 subterminal segment and by its carapace morphology. Keys to the species of both the genera are provided.http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:36BAA1EA-DC15-4B06-BA09-7BD26C63FF54
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The freshwater crab fauna of the two southernmost Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are reviewed based on the findings of a recent field survey and re-examination of relevant type material. Nine genera and twenty-three species of gecarcinucid freshwater crabs are reported, including six new genera (Baratha, Lamella, Pilarta, Snaha, Vanni and Vela) and 10 new species (Baratha pushta, Baratha peena, Pilarta anuka, Snaha aruna, Travancoriana kuleera, Travancoriana charu, Vanni ashini, Vanni deepta, Vanni giri and Vela virupa). Four species previously regarded as junior subjective synonyms are recognised herein as valid species, namely, Lamella lamellifrons (Alcock), Vela pulvinata (Alcock), Vanni travancorica (Henderson) and Travancoriana convexa (Roux). Keys to the genera and species of southern Indian gecarcinucid freshwater crabs are provided.
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Freshwater invertebrates receive relatively little publicity and conservation attention, in spite of their key role in aquatic food webs and ecosystem functioning.Decapod crustaceans such as caridean shrimps and gecarcinucid freshwater crabs comprise some of the most poorly known aquatic taxa, even in exceptional regions of freshwater biodiversity and endemism, such as the Western Ghats mountains of peninsular India.An analysis was carried out to understand distribution patterns and identify priority areas for decapod crustacean conservation in the Western Ghats region based on conservation status data retrieved from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.The Western Ghats region is home to 49 species and six sub-species of caridean shrimps (69% endemism) in four genera and two families, and 39 species of gecarcinucid crabs (92% endemism) in 14 genera. This diversity is probably an underestimate given the lack of biotic surveys and taxonomic research carried out on these groups.Three species (3%) of decapod crustaceans from the Western Ghats region are threatened with extinction, while more than half (51%; 48 species) are Data Deficient. The uncertainty regarding the true extinction risk of such a high number of Data Deficient species could hamper conservation efforts as well as policy development and implementation.Forty sites in the Western Ghats region are priorities for the conservation of decapod crustaceans, of which only seven lie within the existing network of protected areas.The specialized natural history and point endemic nature of many species of freshwater decapods, together with escalating human impacts on their aquatic ecosystems in the Western Ghats, makes conservation and management of these threatened and poorly-known species an immediate and urgent challenge. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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The Western Ghats mountain range in India is a biodiversity hotspot for a variety of organisms including a large number of endemic gecarcinucine freshwater crab species and genera of the family Gecarcinucidae. The phylogenetic relationships of these taxa, however, have remained poorly understood. Here, we present a phylogeny that includes 90% of peninsular Indian genera based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene and nuclear histone H3 gene. The subfamily Gecarcinucinae was found to be paraphyletic with members of two other subfamilies, Liotelphusinae and Parathelphusinae, nesting within. We identify a well-supported clade consisting of north Indian species and one clade comprising mostly south Indian species that inhabit the southern 'sky islands' of the Western Ghats. Relationships of early diverging genera, however, were resolved with low support. The present study also includes newly sampled material from an isolated mountain plateau in the northern part of the Western Ghats, representing a new species of Gubernatoriana, which we describe here as Gubernatoriana basalticola sp. n. The new species is immediately distinguished from its congeners and the related genera Ghatiana and Inglethelphusa by its carapace and cheliped morphology, which are unique among Indian freshwater crabs. The present study highlights the urgent need for continued faunistic studies to assess the true diversity of gecarcinucid crabs on the Indian subcontinent, to fully understand the basal phylogenetic relationships within the freshwater crab family Gecarcinucidae, and to evaluate the conservation threat status and biogeography of the montane freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats.
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A new species of freshwater crab of the genus Travancoriana Bott, 1969, is described from the southern Western Ghats, Eravikulam National Park, Idukki district, Kerala, India. The newly described species, Travancoriana granulata n. sp., is distinct from the other five known species of this genus in some morphological features like parallel lateral margins of the frontal, anteriorly placed broad epigastric cristae, the squarish sixth male abdominal somite, and gonopod structures. A key to the species of Travancoriana is provided. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
Compilers) (2011) The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in the Western Ghats
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  • Switzerland Gland
  • Zoo Outreach Organisation
Molur, S., Smith, K.G., Daniel, B.A. & Darwall, W.R.T. (Compilers) (2011) The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in the Western Ghats, India. IUCN, UK and Gland, Switzerland, and Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore, 116 pp.
The freshwater crabs of Sri Lanka (Decapoda: Brachyura: Parathelphusidae)
  • P K L Ng
  • F W M Tay
Ng, P.K.L. & Tay, F.W.M. (2001) The freshwater crabs of Sri Lanka (Decapoda: Brachyura: Parathelphusidae). Zeylanica, 6 (2), 113-199.
Paratypes are consistent with the holotype in carapace and gonopod features except for the smallest male (ZSI, WRC-C.1518), which has three or four larger teeth on the fingers of the major cheliped
  • Paratypes
Paratypes. Paratypes are consistent with the holotype in carapace and gonopod features except for the smallest male (ZSI, WRC-C.1518), which has three or four larger teeth on the fingers of the major cheliped. Etymology. Species is named after its collector Dr. Prashant Wagh, zoologist. Type locality. Between Harishchandragad and Paachnai, Akole taluk, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra